River of Lost Souls

Scott Abbot with a nice write-up of River of Lost Souls.


I just read Jonathan P. Thompson’s The River of Lost Souls (Torrey House Press, March 2018). The book unsettled me. Profoundly.


On August 5, 2015, EPA contractors who were investigating a portal of the Gold King Mine above Durango accidentally released an estimated 3 million gallons of acid drainage laden with heavy metals that had been backing up for decades in the abandoned mine. [Photos and timelines at the High Country News ]

I never knew that the name of the Animas River, one of the three rivers running through my hometown of Farmington, New Mexico, meant River of Souls. Still less did I know that someone later added the adjective “perdidas” to the name, making it the River of Lost Souls. Jonathan P. Thompson knew that, however, and now I know it too.

Nomen est omen.

I knew the Animas was deadly, having experienced that on a tubing trip…

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